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Archival description
Solomon Islands Collection
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Diary (Roviana original and English translation)

  • AU PMB MS 1104
  • Collection
  • May 1935-Jan 1936

David Voeta was associated with the Methodist Mission in the West of the Solomon Islands

Diary (possibly a transcript), May 1935-Jan 1936. English translation of the diary, May 1935-Jan 1936.<P><b>See reel list for further details</b>

Voeta, David

Slides from John Baker’s Voluntary Service Overseas placement in Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB PHOTO 114
  • Collection
  • 1964-1965

This collection of 540 colour photographs was taken by John Baker in Solomon Islands in 1964 and 1965, while he was working there as a volunteer under the auspices of the British Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) organisation. He was 18 and 19 at the time and was what was known as a school leaver volunteer. There were 10-15 VSOs in the Solomons in 1964, with most working as teachers in mission boarding schools. However, John was attached mainly to two District Administrations to work on various local projects.

At the time, Solomon Islands was under colonial administration known as the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP), in which virtually all senior and technical/professional positions were still held by expatriates. Thus VSOs were working within and were very much a part of a colonial culture.

The photographs in the collection were taken with a Voigtlander Vito B camera on Kodachrome 100 colour slides. The camera was stored, including for many canoe trips, in an old Sunshine Milk tin with a bag of silica gel in the bottom. Captions for the photos were written in a foolscap notebook when the slides came back from processing. Thus the names of people and places were all recorded contemporaneously and so are likely to be accurate. These captions, written in 1964-65, sometimes have a colonial tone but have been left unchanged as they are an historical reflection of their times.

John Baker’s first work as a VSO was from August-November 1964 as a teacher at the Geological Department’s survey school in Honiara. Then he transferred to Western District headquarters in Gizo and worked during December 1964 and January 1965 as a surveyor on the Wagina Island Gilbertese resettlement scheme. In February 1965 he transferred to Eastern District headquarters in Kira Kira where he spent six weeks working on local election preparations. He then moved back to Gizo and spent April to August 1965 travelling round, organising the construction of concrete drinking water tanks in various villages in the Roviana and Wana Wana lagoons and subsequently on the island of Ranonnga.

Baker, John R.

Diaries

  • AU PMB MS 74
  • Collection
  • 1 January 1911 - 31 July 1921

The Rev. John R. Metcalfe (1889-1970) was born in Yorkshire and served as a Methodist missionary in the Solomon Islands for 37 years. He served as a home missionary in Great Britain before moving to Victoria in 1914. He became a candidate for the Methodist ministry in 1916, and after being ordained was appointed to the Solomon Islands in 1920. After a brief period at Roviana, he was appointed to Choiseul as assistant to the Rev. V. LeC. Binet. Apart from four years at Teop, he remained on Choiseul (with a break during the war) until 1951. He was then appointed chairman of the Methodist Mission in the Solomons. He retired in 1957, but continued to take an active interest in the mission until his death.

The diaries span Metcalfe's entire career as a churchman and are of especial historical interest for his years in the Solomons.

Metcalfe, John R.

Diaries

  • AU PMB MS 77
  • Collection
  • 18 October 1938 - 19 February 1946

Please see PMB 74.

The diaries span Metcalfe's entire career as a churchman and are of especial historical interest for his years in the Solomons.

Metcalfe, John R.

Diaries

  • AU PMB MS 75
  • Collection
  • 1 August 1921 - 31 May 1931

Please see PMB 74.

The diaries span Metcalfe's entire career as a churchman and are of especial historical interest for his years in the Solomons.

Metcalfe, John R.

Descriptive newsletters from the Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB MS 68
  • Collection
  • 16 September 1920 - January 1950

The Rev. John R. Metcalfe (1889-1970) was born in Yorkshire and served as a Methodist missionary in the Solomon Islands for 37 years. He served as a home missionary in Great Britain before moving to Victoria in 1914. He became a candidate for the Methodist ministry in 1916, and after being ordained was appointed to the Solomon Islands in 1920. After a brief period at Roviana, he was appointed to Choiseul as assistant to the Rev. V. LeC. Binet. Apart from four years at Teop, he remained on Choiseul until 1951. During the war, he served as a Coastwatcher. He became chairman of the Methodist Mission in the Solomons in 1951, a post he held until he retired to Australia in 1957. He continued to take an active interest in the mission until his death.

From time to time during his career in the Solomon Islands, Metcalfe wrote long, descriptive neswsletters to friends overseas which he called general letters. They were invariably typewritten. Apparently several carbon copies of each letter were sent out. Those on this microfilm were written in the following years:<BR><BR>1920 (2), 1921 (2), 1922 (1), 1924 (1), 1925 (1), 1926 (1), 1927 (1), 1929 (1), 1936 (2), 1937 (2), 1938 (2), 1939 (1), 1941 (1), 1946 (2), 1947 (2), 1948 (1), 1950 (1).

Metcalfe, John R.

Articles on the Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB MS 67
  • Collection
  • 1350 - c.1961

The Rev. John R. Metcalfe (1889-1970) was born in Yorkshire and served as a Methodist missionary in the Solomon Islands for 37 years. He served as a home missionary in Great Britain before moving to Victoria in 1914. He became a candidate for the Methodist ministry in 1916, and after being ordained was appointed to the Solomon Islands in 1920. After a brief period at Roviana, he was appointed to Choiseul as assistant to the Rev. V. LeC. Binet. Apart from four years at Teop, he remained on Choiseul until 1951. During the war, he served as a Coastwatcher. He became chairman of the Methodist Mission in the Solomons in 1951, a post he held until he retired to Australia in 1957. He continued to take an active interest in the mission until his death in 1970.

A collection of 39 articles with the following titles: Lauru; The Three Brothers; Harry Raeno; Stephen Gandepeta; The Two Friends; Timothy Loe; Solomon Damusoe; Methodism in the Marovo; A Footnote to Rickenbacker; The Vurulata Senga Feud; Pioneering on Choiseul; The Gumi Family; Methodism on Guadalcanal; The Helena Goldie Hospital; The Melanesian Cargo Cult; Our Time at Teop; Osea Tambipunda; How the Lauruans met the Japanese; Thoughts on Etoism; Aola Methodism; San Marcos or Choiseul Island; The Fisherman who Got Lost; Sub-Hospital No.3; The Coming of the Uniform; The Coming of the Aeroplane; Christmas in the Battle Area; Broadcast at Honiara (8/4/51); How I Left Munda; The Methodist Church and the Development of North-East Bougainville; How the Japanese Descended on Lauru; The Beginning of the Kamanga Tribe; The Problem of the Tropical South Pacific; Co-operation in the Solomon Islands District; My Years as Chairman; Vangunu: The Tragedy at Egolo ... Rendova; and three braodcasts made in August and September, 1943, entitled Readings from a Missionary's Diary.

Metcalfe, John R.

Diaries of Colin Allan

  • AU PMB MS 1437
  • Collection
  • 1947-1956

Sir Colin Allan was an administrator in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP). He first served as District Officer Nggela, Western Solomons, then D.O. and District Commissioner Western (1946-1948), D.O. Choiseul and Ysabel (1948), D.O. Malu`u (1949) and finally District Commissioner Malaita (1950-1952) at the time of the Maasina Rule (also Maasina Ruru and Marching Rule).
After World War II, there were efforts by the colonial administration to extend European use of land. A Special Lands Commission was established to examine local land customs and make recommendations on the use of unclaimed land. He was appointed by the High Commissioner of the Western Pacific to be Special Lands Commissioner on 10 July 1953.

This set of five diaries cover a significant amount of Allan’s BSIP tenure, but not the full period. The diaries begin on 1 January, 1947, with a voyage on board the ‘Myrtle’ through the Western District, where Allan was Assistant District Commissioner, then District Commissioner. The diaries end in 1954 after the Special Lands Commission, however no diary for 1952 was transferred to Pacific Manuscripts Bureau.

Diary 1 covers the periods 1 January – 28 November 1947, 28 June – 11 August 1948, then 1 January – 28 March, 1949. There are brief descriptions for most days indicating professional and personal activities. During 1947, he describes visits to various villages in the Western District noting movement of people and vessels, trade, weather conditions, local disputes and crimes and a word list (language unknown). During 1948, he documents the establishment of the Choiseul office, notes demographic information and bureaucratic matters. From 1949, Allan takes the post of D.O. in Malu’u, Malaita during the period of Maasina Rule (also Maasina Ruru and Marching Rule). His diary entries are brief but make reference to early colonial politics, the Maasina Rule movement and associated raids, arrests and imprisonments. He also refers to land matters, native courts and census collections.

Diary 2 (1948) has only sporadic entries, mostly reporting on village visits and bureaucratic activities. This diary also contains a list of plantations and owners on Isabel/Ysabel, meeting resolutions, lists of fines and accounts. There is also a reference to Belamataga’s Guadalcanal Freedom Movement.

Diary 3 (1949) has only sporadic entries, beginning in April and ending in October. The diary begins in Malu’u, Malaita, with observations about other administrators and missionaries, as well as arrest numbers. Entries from August detail travel in England.

Diary 4 (1950-51) covers the period 29 May 1950-9 Jan 1951, having returned to Honiara from London to the news he will be posted to Malaita to take over from Acting DC Stanley Masterman. On arrival, and throughout, he writes of his concerns over the Maasina Rule situation. As he tours Malaita, he writes of colonial administrative politics, arguments around tax collection, religious affiliations in different areas, movement of workers/labour, village politics, local infrastructure matter such as schools and hospitals. He goes on tour with the Resident Commissioner. Throughout he discusses Ariari (‘Are’are) and Kwarae people.

Diary 5 (1953-54, 1956) has a typed report (11pp) relating to the Special Lands Commission inserted in the front of the diary. The report covers an investigative visit to the Western Solomons between July-September, 1953. The diary itself contains handwritten notes on the Special Lands Commission investigations, covering the period May-June 1953 in Honiara, before visiting villages throughout the Western District during the period July-September, then October-November, 1953. Allan returns to Honiara in December 1953 to continue work on the report. During 1954, he tours Central Province and Guadalcanal until 2 April, 1954. The diary resumes on 24 July 1956, explaining it was paused while the Lands Commission was suspended and he took leave in England. From July, Allan tours the Eastern District. The diary ends on his return to Honiara on 14 December, 1956.

Allan, Colin

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Memorabilia

  • AU PMB PMB DOC 544
  • Collection
  • 1982-1984

The first music and voice transmitted by radio in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) occurred in 1923 through the Methodist Mission?s wireless station at Kokegolo in New Georgia. The station often presented choral and band recitals performed in local languages, primarily for the interest of passengers on passing ships which were equipped with wireless sets. However, actual broadcasting in the BSIP began in June, 1944 with radio station WVUQ based in Guadalcanal, and was followed a few months later by WVTJ based in Munda. Both stations were operated by the United States of America military as part of the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) and were primarily sources of news and entertainment for American troops serving in the Pacific. Both stations were part of a grouping known as ?The Mosquito Network?.
In the years after World War II, a radio service was maintained by volunteers in Honiara, primarily for an English-speaking, licence fee-paying, expatriate audience. In 1952, the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service was established as VQO, broadcasting news and music six days a week to local audiences in most parts of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. By the mid-1950s, colonial administrators saw the important role radio was playing for local audiences and invested in programming (including Pijin content), staff, transmitters and new studios. The studios on Mendana Avenue, Honiara, opened in 1959. By the 1960s, SIBS was also providing school services and outside broadcasting of special events, putting a strain on the still new studio facilities. Studio and office upgrades were made in 1965.
In 1976, under the administration of Sir Peter Kenilorea, SIBS became a statutory body, and commenced operations as the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) in 1977. In 1978 the Australian Government committed funds for the upgrade of studio and transmission facilities in Honiara, the establishment of a new regional station in Gizo and correspondents based in more remote parts of the country. Broadcasting House at Rove, Honiara opened on 7 August, 1982.
From 1980-1984, Martin Hadlow was the News/Programme Trainer, then Head of Development and Training at SIBC. During this time the service transitioned from a government broadcasting service to an independent public service broadcasting corporation. This transition meant new management (including a new Board), a complete revamp of programming and news structure, and the new studio building at Rove. Hadlow prepared this booklet for the opening of the studio and was involved with the preparation of the First Day Cover stamp set for the 20th Anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

Hadlow, Martin

“Taem bilong iume: Some notes on people and events in the post WWII British Solomon Islands Protectorate by a proud former resident”

  • AU PMB MS 1376
  • Collection
  • 2007

Paul Brown first went to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate in July 1958. For 19 years he was based in Honiara. He helped to establish Solomon Island Airlines, SOLAIR, growing the business from two bush aircraft to a fleet and introduced flights to PNG and Vanuatu. He was involved in many areas of tourism and travel in the Solomon Islands.
Paul Brown was initially asked by Ian Wotherspoon and Trevor Clark to contribute a chapter on early planters and traders and another on the development of the internal air service to a larger book called Taem bilong iume (De bilong mi) on the British Solomon Islands Protectorate prior to independence in July 1978. (See correspondence from Trevor Clark re: De bilong mi in PMB1365/46). Taem bilong iume was never published. Paul Brown later edited his chapters and added more information to create this book. The book was privately written and published by Paul H. Brown and is not for sale.

Preface
1 – Planters and traders, p.1
2 – Air services, p.14
3 – Missionaries, p.26
4 – Most obedient servants, p.31
5 – Box wallahs, p.37
6 – Friends for life, p.42
Appendix I: The UK’s “Daily Telegraph” obituary notice for Ninian Scott-Elliot RN (Ret’d), Sir Renn Davis and Sir Jocelyn Bodilly.
Appendix II: Copy of an unpublished report on the mysterious loss of R.C.S. “Melanesian” in July 1958 by an unknown then S.I. based author.
61pp. plus appendices.

Brown, Paul H.

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